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Life at the Bottom

The American Foxhound, GCH CH Kiarry's Pandora's Box

Every year the AKC releases its annual report on the 10 most popular dogs. Once again, the Labrador Retriever is the most registered dog in the U.S. However, here we want to focus on the 10 least popular dogs in the U.S. So here is the countdown of the 10 dogs that most of the American public has never seen.

10. The Skye Terrier, the 164th most popular breed in the registry has been in the AKC since 1887. While it brought a faithful following to the U.S. from its native Scotland, it has never been among AKC’s top breeds. Its keen Terrier temperament and substantial, though low slung, size make it a grand addition to any suburban household.

9. A much more recent addition to the AKC family is the Norwegian Buhund, a Spitz-type dog. Since 2009 the Buhund has graced the Herding Group as medium-sized versatile guard dog and herder. They will need adequate exercise and training to reach their potential in your household.

8. The Komondor, Number 166, the giant Hungarian walking mop, is a connoisseur’s breed, with space and grooming requirements that would be off-putting to anyone, except those with a penchant for the unique. However, they are always a favorite of the crowds at shows as a walking advertisement of the diverse international community that is the AKC.

7. The Finnish Spitz, at Number 167, has been in the registry for over 20 years, but still is struggling to get established. Having dropped 12 spots in just the last seven years, this is truly an endangered breed.

6. The Canaan Dog, a medium-sized, shorthaired breed that fits into all sorts of households, comes in at 168. Although this is a dog with an impeccable service dog pedigree, it has steadily declined in the registry since its initial admission in 1997.

5. The Otterhound, a large economy-sized dog, with an everyman appearance is Number 169. Its regular-dog look and affable demeanor might make it a favorite, but the size is more than many modern homes can accommodate.

4. The Norwegian Lundehund is our 170th most popular breed. A small, agile Spitz breed, it was originally breed to hunt Puffin in steep & rocky terrain. It’s is an easy-to-keep breed adaptable to many homes.

3. Our three least registered breeds are foxhound types. Coming in at 171 is the Harrier. Hunting the hare may be a thing relegated to another century, but this breed need not be. Any suburban home can readily accommodate one.

2. The English Foxhound, Number 172, must rely on a dedicated handful of fanciers. It has neither the size, appearance nor national identity to rally the general population to its defense. Nonetheless, one would be a handsome addition to anyone with the space and energy necessary.

1. The American Foxhound, at Number 173, is the least popular dog in the U.S. Think about that. The breed made famous by our first President, the iconic symbol of life during the American Revolution, is dying out for lack of interest by a public that thinks the current President should have chosen a “Labradoodle”. The American Foxhound is our standard bearer in the war against breeding restrictions.

One editorial point, breeding restrictions will hit the rare breeds the hardest. Our general economic situation makes it all the more difficult to preserve these rare breeds. Make sure your elected officials know where you stand on breeding restrictions. You don’t want to be helping your grandchild with his American history and have him ask you, “What kind of dog did George Washington have?” and you have to say, “an American Foxhound. They’re gone now, but I saw one once.” And that’s today’s Back Story.

Written by

Billy Wheeler has been attending dog shows as a spectator and exhibitor for over 40 years. Billy is the man behind the popular Dog Show Poop. He is a retired management consultant who has advised multiple organizations affiliated with the AKC and the Cat Fanciers Association on business management, long range planning, customer service, and legislative matters. After 25 years of living in the big cities of New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, he now resides in his hometown of Memphis TN with his wife, Brenda, her Toy Poodle and his Cairn, Scottie, & IG. When he is not blogging, Billy can be found in the kitchen cooking, and listening to opera.
  • Sonya Henderson,Raynics Bassets May 2, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    Reading your article this morning I was reminded how we humans have forgotten the role that “dogs have had in our long existence. They hunted,protected, and helped with finding safer areas to rest and sometimes keeping us warm. And when needed even gave their lives for us. The creations of two pure breds to produce a “designer dog” is quite the rage in this “modern day”. I had a different comment in this part of my comment and then after reading it decided not to
    keep it included in this comment portion. I’m giving those people the benefit of my thinking that they “believe” they are doing a “great” thing as the result is not a “MUTT”! After all the parents are “pure bred” dogs and may even “papers”!!

    • kayla
      kayla May 2, 2012 at 7:11 PM

      Hi Sonya, I attended a seminar at some point that made a point of discussing the “co-evolutioanary” path of humans and the domesticated dog. Once dogs domesticated, humans had secure food stocks, protection of family, hunting help, protection from disease by killing vermin, protection of livestock. There was a large discussion on why dogs seemingly read our minds and it has to do with selective breeding to offload tasks so that humans could focus on higher level tasks – like developing social/political structures rather than being nomadic & unstructured – so dogs were developed to infer from the slightest nuance what was wanted. It was eye opening.

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